Hair loss in women is becoming increasingly common. More than 50% of women will experience hair loss at some point in their lifetime1. Yes, you read that correctly, more than HALF! This makes female hair loss just as common as having sensitive skin2 or wearing glasses3 so you’re certainly not alone.
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Read on for a greater understanding of female hair loss.
So why do millions of Australian women suffer from hair loss? And what exactly is causing hair loss in women? You’ve heard of alopecia which may conjure up a vision of someone with entirely no hair, completely bald. The good news is you are probably not suffering from that kind of alopecia as it is quite rare (Alopecia Areata Totalis).
Alopecia just means the absence of hair where hair normally grows. But what’s important is to find out which kind of hair loss you may have, what is causing it, how can you reverse it, and how you can camouflage it (as you see in the image above).
The vast majority of women with hair loss fall into a few main categories.
Female Pattern Hair Loss
The type of hair loss you may hear of most often is what is often referred to as Androgenic Alopecia (AGA).
Androgenic Alopecia is actually the kind of hair loss men have. Some women may have this kind of hair loss, but it is not very common for that to be the case.
Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL) is a more accurate term for hair loss in women. FPHL most often presents as a widening part with or without general thinning on the top and at the temples and sometimes a thinning crown.
FPHL can be triggered by an earlier episode of Telogen Effluvium (TE) which presents itself as a sudden and often mass shedding.
Telogen Effluvium (TE) is usually triggered by a stress to the body caused by a sudden illness, a virus like Covid-19, a stressful time like moving country, death of a loved one, a shock of some kind, rapid weight loss etc. This kind of shock to the body causes the hair follicles to move prematurely into the resting phase (read about the three phases of the hair growth cycle below). This type of hair loss is caused by an interruption to the hair growth cycle. The good news about TE is that you won't go completely bald (although it might feel like you will) and when your body has recovered, your hair will grow back.
After bone marrow, hair is the second fastest growing tissue of the body5, therefore any small changes in your body are likely to be reflected in your hair.
TE is generally characterised by severe shedding. When this shedding goes on for an extended period of time, the result can be a quite devastating with a noticeable reduction in hair density. Once the trigger for this type of hair loss has been identified (and there may be more than one, read further about that here), then the shedding will eventually stop.
Now you may be thinking, “but I’m not experiencing any of these changes!”. Well keep in mind that due to the various phases of the hair cycle, it takes 2-3 months for the hair to be affected, so if you believe this may be the cause of your hair loss, look back a few months and you may just find the culprit.
Another common type of alopecia is Alopecia Areata (AA), a condition generated by the immune system where the body targets and kills off its own hair follicles. This kind of hair loss can be associated with other autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease and lupus to name a few. AA often presents as small patches of complete hair loss. It can reverse spontaneously and it can, in rare cases, progress to hair loss on the entire body (Alopecia Universalis).
There are two periods in a woman's life when hair loss is known to be very common, during/following menopause and following childbirth. Review the various causes of hair loss by following the links below:
Hereditary Hair Loss in Women
Naturally our genetics play a role in hair loss. However, not everyone with the predisposition for hair loss will lose their hair. There are many other factors at play in FPHL.
Hair growth is cyclical, going through three main stages: the growth stage (anagen phase), the rest stage (catagen phase) and then finally, the shedding stage (telogen phase).
Each individual hair may endure on the scalp for three to seven years before entering the catagen phase for around two weeks and then the telogen phase which can last for a few months. It is during this final stage that hair begins to sit higher on the scalp and can be pulled out with very little effort such as when brushing or washing your hair. After the hair has been shed, a new one will take its place and begin to grow. In the case of hereditary hair loss, this cycle becomes a lot quicker and it may only take months for a new hair to be shed, or in some cases a new hair may not replace the recently shed hair at all.
Like other hereditary conditions, hereditary hair loss is caused not only by genetic predisposition, but by your genes in conjunction with your hormones and many other factors.
As with telogen effluvium, changes in vitamins and minerals in your body can lead to hair loss and this is especially apparent when it comes to iron stores and B12. A quick trip to the doctor for some blood tests for B12 and serum ferritin (iron stores) will reveal whether or not this could be contributing to your hair loss. The good news about this particular cause for hair loss is that like telogen effluvium, when the appropriate iron and B12 levels are restored through the use of supplements and/or dietary changes, your hair should return to normal.
But note: do not take iron supplements unless advised to by your doctor as too much iron can be dangerous (and can result in hair loss!).
In the meantime, however, using a female hair fibre concealer like BOOST N BLEND™ to cover any areas of visible scalp, will ensure your issue remains private. It can also help your hair to recover. Some ongoing hair loss issues can be caused by the stress of hair loss. You can read more about that here.
You don't have to put up with visible hair loss. A couple of shakes of Boost N Blend each morning will cover a visible scalp in seconds. This is Boost N Blend Dusky Dark Brown on a woman with Female Pattern Hair Loss.
We know this looks too good to be true. This after photo looks so natural and any product in the hair is completely undetectable. The most common review email we receive is full of incredulous raving about how this product does exactly what it is advertised to do. We are all so used to ads promising all kinds of impossible outcomes (5 inches of hair growth in 2 weeks anyone?) that we see photos like this and assume it's fake.
This is a photo of our founder taken by her husband standing on a ladder! Our founder, registered nurse (RN) Bambi, has hair loss herself as you can see. She developed this product for all of us, for all the women out here suffering as she was from the embarrassment of a visible scalp.
We offer a money back guarantee if for some reason you are not happy, but best of all we offer a FREE colour swap. So if the colour you choose isn't exactly right for you, we will swap it over for free.
So you have nothing to lose and everything to gain! Shop for your colour right now. You will not regret it (we promise)!